12:15 AM

Latest Marketing, Storytelling, Content Strategy Reading List: Pink, Tasner, Roma, Denning and others

Okay, I confess: I love ordering books online. It's not just about the books; I get a rush like a kid opening birthday presents when the package arrives. It's awesome. Especially when I've compiled a lengthy wishlist and then finally have some time to dig in and check out the topics that have been wiggling my brain.

My selection criteria is pretty simple: if the book passes the highlighter test, I buy it. That may shed some light on age (I stopped counting at 29), the highlighter test is when I browse through the book and have an impulse to highlight sections for future reference. There's other factors as well, but that's the main one.

Here's the latest books that past the highlighter test:

  •  A Whole New Mind: Why the Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future - Daniel Pink
    •  Any guy named Pink who suggests that us left-handed creative types will rule the world - I don't even need a highlighter.
  •  Engage!, The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web - Brian Solis 
    • I’m not sure how I feel about Ashton Kutcher writing the forward but Solis past the highlighter test nonetheless.
  •  Marketing in the Moment: The Practical Guide to Using Web 3.0 Marketing to Reach your Customers First-  Michael Tasner
    • I first opened this book on the page where Tasner talks about being the best marketing person ever by 25 years old. What a punk, I thought... oh... wait... there's a whole lot of highlighting for this book - and I'm talking where you need multiple color highlighters. I got over the whole punk thing pretty quick - it's a great resource.
  • The Back Of The Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures - Dan Roma

    • When I realized that Roma was suggesting the pictures were drawn versus using graphics or illustrations, I nearly put the book back on the shelf.  I can't draw - what's this guy thinking? Rest assured - he's got that figured out and lists the dozen-ish stickman pictures that any 3 year old can draw. Genius. For that - I even bought the over sized version of the book so the pictures are bigger.
  • The New How: Creating Business Solutions Through Collaborative Strategy – Nilofer Merchant
    • The title for this book doesn't do it justice. It's a great great read for anyone who wants a prescriptive look - with case studies and examples - on how to approach intercompany collaboration. I'll admit - wasn't so much the highlighter test as accompanying comics by Hugh McLeod which are simply hilarious.
  • Get Content Get Customers: Turn Prospects into Buyers with Content Marketing, Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett.
    • You gotta love Joe (sorry Newt, I don't know you).  If you're into content, content marketing or content strategy, then I recommend checking out anything from Joe or the Junta42 resources. And  congrats Joe to being named the #1 Content Strategy Rock Star.
  • The Leaders Guide to Storytelling: Mastering the Art and Discipline of Business Narrative, Stephen Denning
    • I love storytelling and how it's being applied in the business context. Let's get past the buzz, hyperbole and gobblygook (there's a BS meter - aka gobblygook - where you can find out just how many of these BS infractions you've made in your copy). Denning's book was a no-brainer 'must buy' as soon as I saw it.
Still on the Wish List

    •    Made to Stick, Chip Heath. .... Funny thing about this one:  not too long ago, I walked past a display of this book. I hadn't heard of it at the time but the cover caught my eye even though I was engrossed with a book in my hands. And I proceeded to the cashier, I wondered why a home improvement book was in the marketing / management section. Since then, at least a dozen people have recommended this book to me.

These look interesting – potential Highlighter candidates:

  •  UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging - Scott Stratten
  •  Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping--Updated and Revised for the Internet, the Global Consumer, and Beyond - Paco Underhill
  •  The Buying Brain: Secrets for Selling to the Subconscious Mind -   A. K. Pradeep
  •  Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide -  Henry Jenkins (I've heard a lot about Mr.Jenkins and the general consensus is that he rocks).
What are you reading these days? What recommendations do you have for me?

3:05 PM

Mesh Marketing (MM10): Games, Social Pizza and Humanizing the brand


I was school-girl giddy arriving at the Mesh Marketing conference yesterday in Toronto. Lots of great topics:  Transmedia storytelling, Gamification, Social TV - oh my! 

So What’s Up with Marketing?

  • B2C trends like gamification, immersive worlds and transmedia storytelling are already in full swing and making its way to B2B. 
  • Facebook as a media/marketing/mobile/messaging platform has become ridiculously advanced - super cool opportunities for new apps, plug-ins, widgets that combines gaming, fans, communities, sites, campaigns, polls, social commerce, etc, etc - all from a single source. 
  • Let's not forget generating followers - and creating advocates, in 140 characters or less. 
Here’s a few highlights from Mesh today that illustrate this transformation:
  • Janice Diner (@janicediner) knocked it out of the park with her Facebook beyond the Wall presentation. I was overwhelmed with the implications as she illustrated that the medium shift from the corporate website to Facebook:
  • Delta Airlines has a flight reservation system on Facebook: Check it out!
  • Starbucks lets you gift a Starbucks Coffee card : this was a personal favorite and apparently over 17million people agree (number of ‘Likes’ on their page) Check it out
  • eBay uses Facebook with PayPal integration for Social commerce
  • Ford launched the new Explorer on Facebook BEFORE the Detroit Automotive show. (wow). Check it out
  • Blackberry has several localized Facebook pages for their audiences in Indonesia to Ireland. Check it out
Take-away: sure you need a corporate website. Let's be honest: just because you build it does not mean they will come. You need to go to them! This is why your Facebook presence is equally important as your primary www site... and will become even more important (I’d argue the same for your YouTube site). 

Former pizza delivery driver and now Operating manager of 6 Domino locations, Ramon De Leon (@Ramon_DeLeon ) captivated the room with his “You need Social Media Water for a Social media fire” comments during the  Top Brands in Social Media and the Lessons They’ve Learned Panel. He's got over 7000 followers on twitter and is known as the “The Pizza Guy to know in Downtown Chicago”.  RightSleeve did a great write-up - link to it here

Nathania Dashner from Pepsi walked through the ‘Refresh Campaign’ Here’s are my notes deciphered from the chicken scratch I wrote down:
  • Have to humanize the brand: through unexpected and meaningful engagement/interactions with customers.
  • People don’t trust websites. The internet is full of garbage.
  • This is a whole new way of doing business.
  • Don’t acquire; earn their trust.
  • Pepsi – NO SUPERBOWL?? (that was a ‘note to self’ to ensure I got that right).
  • Yes, I got that right, the $1million was reallocated to the Pepsi Refresh Campaign. Pepsi decided NOT to advertise in the Superbowel; rather to allocate funds to creating a movement that engaged people and involved participation. The goal was to humanize the brand.
  • It’s not about the picture of a person holding the Pepsi can; it’s about how they feel about Pepsi.
  • The next search engine will be Twitter to find relevant information
  • The goal was not moving cases (reference to generating Pepsi cola revenue), it was about creating a movement. 
  • Results: 900 entries, 1,000,000 impressions, 60 million page views and Forbes awardeding Pepsi with the top 5 ‘Best Ever Social Media Campaign” title.(wow)
    It was a great day that wiggled my brain and gave me way too much to think about. Full props to Mesh Marketing especially for the uber cool swag bag. It’s now on my top 10 conference swag list.